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License-free 5.8GHz systems deliver wireless camera coverage of All-Star Game

The St. Louis Cardinals organization, which played host to the 2009 MLB All-Star Game July 14, chose RF Central ’s RFX-CMT-II camera-mounted 5.8GHz transmitters, RMR-X6-II diversity receivers and RFX-HD-D decoders to deliver interference-free coverage of the game and the week’s festivities.

The pair of RF Central systems used “worked back-to-back seamlessly all throughout the stadium” during the game, said Craig Wilson, who’s responsible for operation of the Cardinal’s scoreboard. Wilson and his team also used RF Central’s CMT-II system for the Home Run Derby, All-Star Legends Celebrity Softball Game and FanFest. “We had a very busy couple of days, and not having to worry about losing our signal coverage was a huge relief,” Wilson said.

Wilson and others from the Cardinals organization selected RF Central to supply wireless camera systems for the event after visiting last year’s All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees were using two RF Central CMT-II systems that proved “reliability and signal coverage” that impressed the visitors from the Cardinals, Wilson said.

For the 2009 All-Star Game, Wilson used license-free 5.8GHz CMT-II units, which are appropriate for sports and remote production applications. CMT-II models are available as switchable HD/SD and SD-only and with support for 2GHz and 6.4GHz operation. All versions feature inputs for HD or SD-SDI, ASI and composite video signals.

The RMR-X6-II family of receivers used for the event offers maximum ratio combining technology to deliver reliable diversity reception. The X6-II is available either as a stand-alone COFDM receiver with ASI output or with an integral HD/SD decoder, making local decode and control available.

Besides Wilson and the Cardinals, several production companies involved with coverage of the All-Star Game used wireless technology from RF Central. In total, six RF Central CMT-IIs in HD, 10 X6-II six-way receivers and five RFX-HD-D decoders were used.